Bigfinish Audio The Avengers

The Avengers Big Finish
The Avengers Big Finish
New from Bigfinish Audio The Avengers – Comic Strip Adaptations.

Portrayed on television by Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg, John Steed and Mrs Emma Peel are back on Audio thanks to Julian Wadham and Olivia Poulet respectively. Big Finish Audio The Avengers – Steed And Mrs Peel: The Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1, is a hark back to the classy thriller bringing us 4 new stories.

This new box-set collects four new stories, adapted from the classic comic strips which appeared in Diana magazine between 1966 and 1967.

The Avengers – Steed And Mrs Peel: The Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1 Trailer

The Avengers – Steed And Mrs Peel: The Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1 Stories

Olivia Poulet as Mrs. Emma Peel
Olivia Poulet as Mrs. Emma Peel

1. Return to Castle De’ath adapted by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris

Steed is left hanging, Emma pays the piper.

Steed and Peel return to the scene of an earlier adventure to find it much changed. Now a ski-resort, Castle De’ath is playing host to many new visitors – including a wealthy Prince targeted by assassins.

Assigned as bodyguards, the Avengers have to keep the Prince alive and discover which of the Castle’s guests are behind the murderous plot – before they succumb to it themselves.

2. The Miser adapted by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris

Steed has a nasty scare, Emma has a pressing engagement,

When the phrase ‘sleeper train’ takes on a very literal meaning, Steed and Peel witness the first action of The Miser, a terrifying extortionist.

The race is on to stop his ambitious scheme – but in this case, appearances can be deceptive.

3. The Golden Dresses adapted by Paul Magrs

Emma hits the heights of fashion, Steed plumbs the very depths.

The ladies of society can’t get enough of Madame Zingara’s Golden Dresses. Especially now their husbands have gone missing.

Steed and Peel look into the world of haute couture to discover the dark secret of this latest craze. Can they pull it off with style?

4. The Norse Code adapted by John Dorney

Steed has the horns of a dilemma, Emma milks her moment.

An agent has gone missing whilst holidaying in the Norfolk Broads. With an American nuclear bomb being stored in the region, Steed and Peel can’t take any risks.

But the last thing they expect to find on their boating trip is a Norse longboat. What are Vikings doing in East Anglia?

Featuring an all-star cast, including Julian Wadham, Olivia Poulet, Jacqueline Pearce, Sheila Reid, Graham Seed and Phillip Pope, The Avengers – Steed and Mrs Peel: The Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1 is available to pre-order today from the Big Finish website.

Doctor Who: Wrath of the Iceni

Doctor Who Wrath Of the Iceni
Doctor Who Wrath Of the Iceni Click Image to Buy CD
Wrath of the Iceni

Written by John Dorney

Released by Big Finish

The historical adventures of Doctor Who’s classic TV series always had a bad reputation. Commissioned to educate the younger viewers, they soon lost out to tales of Daleks, Yeti and the like and a number have been lost to time.

What a shame that a writer of John Dorney’s calibre wasn’t around then, as with this tale of the Fourth Doctor and Leela in the midst of Boudica’s war against the Romans, he has fashioned Who’s greatest historical tale ever.

A grand claim perhaps, but listen to the evidence. We have Leela learning that valour without honour is simple barbarism. We have the Doctor realising how much he needs his ‘savage’. We have real insight into the complexities of the Roman invasion of Britain. And we have humour, suspense and sword battles galore.

As ever with Big Finish’s productions, the sound design is superb, and the mind’s eye has no difficulty conjuring up the images to go with the spectacular audio. And the performances are uniformly superb, from Ella Kennion as Boudica and Nia Roberts as a conflicted Iceni named Bragnar, to Tom Baker and Louise Jameson exploring depths to their characters and relationship that were never even hinted at on TV.

This ongoing Fourth Doctor and Leela series has, at its core, the Doctor’s education of his companion. Wrath of the Iceni shows that the relationship of master and student is truly in the balance. Next month, the Daleks return, but I hope another pure historical adventure might be on offer later.

Doctor Who: The Fourth Wall

Doctor Who The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall

Written by John Dorney

Released by Big Finish

This fast paced audio allows Colin Baker to release the Doctor’s more tongue-in-cheek side, one that perhaps typified his time in the role on TV.?At the same time, writer John Dorney’s script has a great time spoofing and poking fun at the archetypes of American SF shows, the very ones that forced the move of Doctor Who from its traditional Saturday tea time slot in the early 1980s.

The plot of The Fourth Wall revolves around a failing media mogul (read Rupert Murdoch) who attempts to salvage his fortune with a radical invention that immerses the viewer in the action on screen (read 3D). When the Doctor’s companion Flip gets trapped inside the launch programme, Laser, the Doctor must uncover a conspiracy before he can come to her aid.

Muddying proceedings further are a fantastic new race, the Porcians, who as the most inept alien aggressors in the Galaxy are seeking redemption by being cast as the villainous Warmongers in Laser. These brilliantly realised villains could have stepped from the pages of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a show which much of this audio evokes.

Most of the able cast play multiple parts as off-screen actors and on-screen stars, and when the fourth wall is inevitably breached, this does make some scenes difficult to follow at times. While sidelined for a chunk of the action,?Lisa Greenwood’s Flip continues to develop with some fascinating insights into her character, and great interplay between her and the Doctor.

There are dramatic notes among the more comedic sections, but this audio strikes a very different tone to the previous story, The Curse of Davros. The range of this Sixth Doctor and Flip trilogy, and of the main leads is to be applauded.?